30 April 2015


Today was the day we were heading to Uganda.
We were to leave shortly after lunch, head to O'hare, then to London, then to Entebbe & on to our guesthouse in Kampala.

The last several days have been hard. Several tears. Lots of hugs. And much time embracing family time-bubbles and chalk during these beautiful spring days, walks after dinner, lots of snuggles and books after tub time and taking deep breaths. Re-arranging an entire room of packed clothes, toys, medicine, diapers, etc. was my therapy for the first day. And then I cleaned. I cleaned my kitchen-I mean, REALLY cleaned my kitchen :). I listened to God through scrubbing my floors and scrubbing my cabinets. God often speaks to me when I clean. And so...I clean. It's monotonous. It's therapeutic. It's also easy to wipe up tears if you're cleaning.

We are humbled by the love we have felt through many of you-your texts, comments, calls and emails are encouraging and felt. Your prayers have sustained us, dear friends. Saturday night's adoption fundraiser was so humbling. To have to share such vulnerable and difficult news only 24 hours after we found out was made a bit easier as we looked out and saw so many dear faces...and you cried with us. And you hugged us. And you prayed for us. To see an entire room of college kids praying for Keziah's care and for orphans around the world is awe-inspiring. It's the Body of Christ in action. Thank you for this.

So today...today, we continue to grieve. We continue to heal. We continue to place Keziah and her aunt and her care in our Almighty's hands.

There is also hope. We had a good conversation on Tuesday afternoon with our adoption agency in Texas...asking for updates regarding Keziah and her well-being. They are waiting to hear back from the probation officer & the lawyer team regarding Keziah and her placement with the aunt. The aunt is a school teacher. This is encouraging as this means she is employed and likely to be able to provide for her niece. That gives us some comfort. We also began the "what now?" questions in our dialogue with our agency. We ask for continued prayers for wisdom in this regard...

About 6 months after I lost my Dad I read this quote...

I can't go back
I can't stay here.
I must go forward.

Going back tends to boil up bitterness or frustration in me. And while grieving is necessary and healthy, I know staying in my grief and sadness for an undetermined amount of time isn't wise. And so forward, I/we must go. Forward with our family. Forward with decisions. And most importantly, continually forward into His outstretched arms.

Much love,

25 April 2015

change in the journey

"They found an aunt."

This is the post you never want to write. Friday afternoon we received a phone call from our agency. Earlier that day, during the last visit by the lawyer's team to the village in Uganda where Keziah was located, they were told she had been given to an aunt in another village who wants to raise her and does not want proceed any longer with the adoption...

In the span of 24 hours, our lives of packing up our family and traveling overseas for 2 months to grow our family came to a halt. On the surface this appears to be good news for her. To be raised by a loving family member in your country of origin is always what one would want to see happen. So we pray this is truly what is happening and we pray the "Redeemer" of the fatherless will protect and keep her as His own.

Underneath the surface, this means three years into our journey, eighteen months after bringing this little Ugandan into our hearts, and seven days before we were to board a plane to finish the adoption, we must...barring a miracle...say good-bye. This unexpected change in the journey is hard. Very hard.

So we are asking for prayer...
  • Pray for Keziah, that she is safe and that our Father will continue to take care of her and bring her into a forever family.
  • Pray for our family as we grieve, process this news, and adjust.
  • Pray for wisdom as we consider the next steps in our family journey.
Thank you, dear friends, more than you will ever know....

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear..."
Psalm 46:1-2

18 April 2015

court date confirmed

Another step of faith.
Another confirmation.

Last week we heard news that our May 7th court date is confirmed. YES!!
Our agency advises us to put travel plans in place at least 1 week in advance and currently with flight times, availability and pricing, our tickets are on hold for departing April 30th out of O'hare into Entebbe (Kampala, Uganda-the capital) via London. Yes, exactly 12 days. We are booking our flights with Adoption Airfare, an agency that specializes in non-profit, adoption or humanitarian travel and they have been great working with us and getting us good flight times. And they are able to put potential bookings on hold for a really long time.

We are still waiting to hear back from our agency on the last round of family visits and interviews for Keziah by the lawyer team and those should prayerfully happen this Wednesday, April 22nd. After confirmation those visits in Uganda went well and there are no glaring red-flags, we will purchase our tickets.

Continued prayers for peace and trust while the final pieces fall into place are appreciated. We are in the midst of a very busy time for our family. Trying to pack up our 4 person family to live life overseas in a developing African country for 2 months where we will be a 5 person family with two five year olds (Keziah will turn 5 June 7th-while we are over there) can very quickly overwhelm me. However, it is by God's amazing faithfulness we are able to take deep breaths, prioritize first things first (namely applying for Visas & final document checks), work through one sticky-note To Do list at a time (there are several all over the house) and take one day at a time. We are also trying to soak up individual time with each Haven and Covenant before the "birth"' of their sister :)

Several of you have asked what you can do or what we need as we continue to go forward in our journey...
1. Please continue to pray-for Keziah: for her needs, care & upcoming transition into our family.
2. Prayer for our current family: for our health, upcoming travel shots, packing & preparation.
3. Continued prayer for the process of adoption-it includes SO many people, signatures & timelines and only our Almighty God can orchestrate all these fine details for one forever family.
4. And lastly...as our journey has lengthened, so too have financial needs. If giving to our journey is something God has or is placing on your heart, we have been and will be forever grateful for your support of our family. Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744 (Miller family #3137 in memo line) is a great way to give a tax-deductible donation to our adoption fund. If you would rather donate to help offset some of the other miscellaneous family costs we will incur while traveling (i.e. Haven & Covenant's airfare, lodging, food, visas, etc), please contact us directly [arlanandkatie@gmail.com]. We also have joined with Gobena coffee, an extension of Lifesong for Orphans, to help promote great fair-trade coffee while also fundraising for our journey. Click here for more information.

Again, thanks so much for praying us through this journey.
We are loosely yet excitedly holding our girl in your prayer hands and in the arms of our Almighty and can't wait to introduce you to her beautiful face when we get overseas. Our journey, along with a few pictures of Keziah :), will be shared at an upcoming awareness/concert/fundraiser night on Saturday, April 25 @ 6:30pm at the AC Fellowship Hall in Gridley. We are blessed to be part of a night to bring honor to God's faithfulness through adoption along side our fellow college ministry and their talents.

Arlan & Katie, Haven & Covenant

13 April 2015

coffee club

ahhh...smell that?
There's nothing quite like the smell of a fresh pot of warm coffee brewing in my kitchen!
If you are a coffee lover like we Millers, then I have a propistion for you: Coffee Club.

Gobena coffee is dedicated to helping orphans around the world and has also begun a coffee club where by your purchase of coffee on a regular basis can help support our adoption in bringing dear Keziah Patience home.

Click here to visit our family link to get started & read the details. It's quite easy. And won't take too much time. Thanks for considering coffee club & next time your in my neighborhood, stop on by...I'd love to share a cup of coffee with you!

the Millers

PS-we'd LOVE it if you'd share our link with friends & family!

09 April 2015

4 Millers to Uganda. 5 Millers back.

May 7th.

Right before the Easter holiday, we were emailing back & forth to our adoption agency in Texas regarding the status of our dear girl in Uganda...where she was at...what the uncle was thinking...and what the strength of our case before a judge looked like....

And then there it was...the following words from our Ugandan lawyer:

I truly have a gut feeling we have a good case for Patience. 
The good news is the judge has said she will give us a date of our choice. Please choose a hearing date and we move forward. 
2nd May to 10th May or June 1st onwards 

 I read it. And then re-read it. And then read it again. 
A court date?????!!!!! In one month?! 

We are waiting confirmation for our May 7th court date and have been advised to not buy plane tickets quite yet, as the team in Uganda is in the process of gathering remaining paperwork and conducting final family interviews. Holding this loosely in God's hands is really hard because we are so excited but it is necessary to do so as we realize timelines in international adoption can change quickly....BUT we are super excited! This gives us hope. This gives us smiles. And above all, this shows us our God in mighty form.

So what now? If all paperwork is processed favorably, we will leave about 1 week ahead of our May 7th court date so we are busy preparing ourselves, our kids, and our lives to be in Uganda for about 6-8 weeks total. We are choosing to remain in Uganda for the duration of the court hearing and then the paperwork chase (passport, visa, etc) needed for Keziah to then travel home. And both Haven and Covenant are coming with us for that duration. 4 Millers to Uganda. 5 Millers back.

Prayers ARE needed! And you, my blog readers, have been so faithful in praying us to this point in our journey, I know you'll pray us through this next part! 

Please pray for:
1. The final details of the paperwork & interviews in Uganda to go smoothly and that the team there would be able to get all necessary documents before our travel time of late April/early May.
2. For the details of our paper process here stateside. That we double check our "i's" and triple check our "t's" and that we don't become OCD in the process!
3. For our kids as we begin this intial transition phase & preparation...vaccinations, packing up a few things, but leaving most things behind, and getting ready to welcome/love/meet a new sister.
4. For the final pieces of our finances to fall in place. We are humbled that a fundraiser/awareness night was planned by our college kids & was scheduled prior to us receiving our court date. The benefit event is being held on April 25th @ 6:30pm in Gridley...right before we fly to Uganda...God is such a God of timing. (email me for details if interested)
5. Perspective for Arlan and I. That we keep in mind what adoption is, the hard-hard days ahead, for the next part of this journey, and to remember God's faithfulness. 

 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
Isaiah 26:8